KOKOMO, Ind. — Susan Sciame-Giesecke will be installed as the seventh chancellor of Indiana University Kokomo by IU President Michael A. McRobbie during a formal ceremony this week.
The event will take place on Friday, September 12, and is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. in Havens Auditorium.
Sciame-Giesecke’s 37-year history with the campus, starting with her appointment as an assistant professor, gives her a strong position to move the campus forward as chancellor. She’s proud to have witnessed more than half the campus’ 70-year history.
“I am able to look pretty far back into the life of IU Kokomo, and with that historical foundation, I am positioned to have a clear understanding of where we need to go,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “I am privileged to be so blessed, and I am committed to being a servant leader who helps IU Kokomo take bold steps and make a difference in the lives of those we serve.”
With higher education changing dramatically, now is not the time to look back, she said, but to be forward thinking and lead. Sciame-Giesecke envisions a 21st century regional campus, partnering with the communities it serves.
She proposes to take bold steps in three areas: Working with sister regional campuses to advocate for the importance of higher education as a benefit to everyone; improving retention and graduation rates in those regions; and leading regional partnerships in education, business and economic growth and research.
“It is no longer enough to provide affordable, accessible higher educational opportunities,” she said. “We must find a way to help more of our enrolled students complete a college degree so they can have an impact in the communities where they will live, work, and play.”
During her career, she has led efforts in these areas, including creating the campus’ freshman learning communities program and the Center for Teaching Excellence. She also facilitated formation of a six-county regional economic development organization. Additionally, she led the campus to a 10-year reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission.
Sciame-Giesecke, a professor of communication arts, earned a Ph.D. in speech communication from IU Bloomington. She has held numerous leadership and administrative positions at IU Kokomo, including executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs, interim vice chancellor for administration and finance, interim and permanent dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and chair of the Department of Humanities.
As interim chancellor, she led efforts to gain $14 million in funding for renovations to the Main Building, which has been minimally updated since it opened in 1965. She partnered with the City of Kokomo and the Kokomo School Corp. to obtain the Cougar Gym for IU Kokomo’s athletics programs, and oversaw construction of the Milt and Jean Cole Family Wellness and Fitness Center.
Sciame-Giesecke also led system wide initiatives, such as the IU Enhancing Minority Attainment Conference and the IU Faculty Leadership Institute.
She is excited and honored to lead the campus as its chancellor.
“I work with a dedicated team of faculty and staff who are passionate about helping students be successful in achieving their goals,” she said. “It is a joy to work with them each day and see lives transformed, as students earn their degrees and find their passions. I live and work in a region and a city where people are generous, innovative, hard-working, friendly, and committed to creating viable communities that are poised for future generations.”
A reception will follow the ceremony in Alumni Hall. The installation and reception are free and open to the public.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.